The pH dependence of the friction between a silica particle and a silica wafer was investigated using lateral force microscopy. Measurements were done in the range of 3.6≦pH≦10.6 and the effect of high loading force was also examined. It is found that the friction is independent of the pH of solutions and increases linearly with the applied load, when the pH is between 3.6 and 8.6. On the other hand, once the pH is above 9.0, the friction becomes extremely small and the dependence on the applied load becomes nonlinear. It is postulated that this transition is due to the development of a gel layer composed of polymer-like segments of silicilic acid anchored on the surface; at the lower applied load, this layer acts as a boundary lubricant between the surfaces, but, at the higher applied load, the entanglements of these segments and more direct contact between two solid surfaces leads to the increase of the friction. The effects found here are expected to play an important role in elucidating the basic mechanism of the planarization process of silica wafers.
- Gel layer
- Silica surface
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces and Interfaces